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How Community Living Association changes lives & creates fairer communities

The Community Living Association (CLA) is one of those organisations whose work is so inspiring and touching that it deserves the time and space for some story telling.

As Enova's first Queensland charity partner, we thought it's about time we brought some of the stories from CLA to you, to get a feel for what we're supporting.


It's the degree to which Community Living Association goes out of its way to ensure a person's individual needs are honoured and met, that makes the quality of CLAs work come to light. 

How Community Living Association works

NCEC Parks workersCLA is a not-for-profit community organisation set up in 1987 by a group of young people with disabilities, their families and supporters. The aim was to support young people with an intellectual or a learning disability towards independence.

Today CLA manages a range of programs that provide support, create opportunities and promote independence for people with disability or young people at risk. They work with families, young people at risk, people with mental health issues and people with cognitive disabilities. 

What has remained constant has been their commitment to supporting a community that includes and values all people.

CLA believes that relationships are central to creating community inclusion and are therefore a key focus of its work. Inclusion can take many forms and include many pathways but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

The approach is adaptive and developmental. What this means is, an ongoing effort is made to look at options to best support their constituents and work with them in finding solutions to the issues they face.  


Stories from the Nundah Community Enterprises Co-operative

CLA is located in the Brisbane suburb of Nundah, from where it operates all of its diverse programs. A key aspect of its work over the years has been the establishment of social enterprises, under the umbrella of the Nundah Community Enterprise Co-operative (NCEC) to enable people to work. 

The co-op runs Espresso Train Cafe and Catering, as well as a council parks maintenance enterprise. 


Ian Standing in the cafe wearing a black shirt and hat

Ian's (an original founder) NCEC story:

Ian says that being involved with the co-op and working at the Café gives more meaning to his days.

He says it's no good staying at home every day relying on unemployment benefits, and working at NCEC keeps him active, involved and in contact with the community. His contributions to the co-op and the cafe are now going on 15 years and he's a truly valued and respected senior team member. 


Danny in the kitchen chopping vegetables and another team member passing a piece of celery. Both wearing black shirts.Danny's NCEC story:

Danny is one of the original long term unemployed people with a disability that CLA helped to set up the co-op. Danny worked in the co-op Parks crew for a number of years until a medical issue necessitated the use of a wheelchair.

The co-op physically restructured the café so he could work in the kitchen - which he still does. However, he always felt a sense of loss about not working outdoors and so when NCEC gained a contract to maintain the local shopping centre, Danny took on the role of growing all the plants for their gardens in their greenhouse.


Local people mowing local parks

CLA helped NCEC achieve an Australian first; negotiating a grass-cutting contract with Brisbane City Council and kickstarting the idea of ‘Social Procurement’ in the process. Social Procurement is where governments offer work to community organisations so they can create jobs for disadvantaged citizens.

In 2003, CLA helped the co-op negotiate with the council to mow three local parks. This has grown to include many parks across Brisbane and a range of new contracts with other levels of government, creating tens of thousands of hours of work annually for local people with disabilities.

Mowing NCEC workers checking mower engine. 2 people wearing orange and yellow high vis shirts.

Social procurement in Council has also grown beyond NCEC to include a wide range of community organisations creating work for disadvantaged groups, including youth at risk and people from refugee backgrounds. It’s another example of the transformative work of CLA benefiting not only its own constituents - but the wider society.     


How you can support Community Living Association

A painting of the Community Living Association logo that has a tree with many houses in the branches. Text within image reads Growing Communities where all people are valued

The developmental and adaptive approach of CLA means that it is able to pivot and create opportunities as they arise and according to people's individual needs. 

If you're based in South Each Queensland and you make the switch to Enova before 31 July 2021, you can choose for Enova to donate $50 to Community Living Association on your behalf; or, have the $50 credited to your first Enova electricity bill. 


By joining Enova, you're supporting Community Living Association which is:

  • A Queensland based, not-for-profit organisation
  • An organisation working with people with intellectual & cognitive disabilities
  • Aid to young people at risk to get the most from their lives


Community Living Association’s important work:

  • Emergency overnight accommodation for young people who are homeless
  • Mobile outreach – home visits, providing safe spaces and emergency counselling in cars, connecting with people who are homeless or in crisis
  • Suicidal ideation issues
  • Drivers licence training for young people across the various groups they work with
  • Supporting new self-employment initiatives with young people 

Ready to make the switch and support Community Living Association just by joining Enova? We're here to help, answer any questions and get you connected.

Our opening hours are 8:30am - 5:30pm.
📞 02 5622 1700

Are you based in New South Wales? For more information about our special offer and charity partner in your state, click here.

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